Update Re: Matt Chandler’s Sermon and TVC Apology



Matt Chandler gave a sermon addressing general church discipline matters and asked for forgiveness regarding anonymous situations at The Village Church (video of sermon here). It comes across as a sincere apology. I appreciate Chandler acknowledging counsel turned to control at times and naming that as leadership sin.

That said, some questions remain unanswered:

1) Why did they not name such sinful control issues in their specific written apology regarding Karen Hinkley to their members if they thought it was an issue?

2) By putting Karen under church discipline and releasing her, are they saying as Matt Chandler teaches in the video that they cannot affirm her as a fellow Christian?

3) And given a do-over, would they have chosen not to put Karen under church discipline or does their “correct” theology dictate otherwise?  

Since these things were not addressed and named specifically in their letter, it remains questionable whether they are really repenting of these issues in regard to Karen’s situation. They may not be even talking about Karen’s situation when asking for forgiveness regarding control issues. We do not know. What we do know is that they did not name that as the major problem in their direct communication on the matter. Hopefully, that will change as I hope this was a sincere apology and recognition from leadership that the issue was not simply delivery but an illicit power grab.

10 thoughts on “Update Re: Matt Chandler’s Sermon and TVC Apology”

  1. DM,
    Wow the end of this sermon is very self promoting in my opinion. That they were approached about their actions and so “they dug around” in order to determine how they had fallen short, this indicates that that are still controlling the state of events rather than being humble before God and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict and bring true change. With this in mind anyone in that church who has been hurt is going to be very reluctant to come forward for a face to face in an attempt to see the elders be accountable. Without humility on the part of elders it is almost as if the wounded have been dared to put their neck on the block. Maybe I missed it but as I type this I do not recall him saying the words “we are sorry” he says slot “will you for give us” please forgive me if I am incorrect on that point. But to repeat “will you forgive us” but at no point does he state or even allude to the changes the plan to make to avoid a repeat of the behaviour. If I was in that church I would want to see fruit of the heart changes before I put my neck on the block.

    1. “Once burned, twice shy” comes to mind here, Thankful. That said, I am torn about it all. What more could Matt Chandler do to correct this if he was not allowed to be specific about the situation? I want to acknowledge that Matt Chandler’s hands may have been tied on this matter by others in leadership there. I do believe specificity and directness is in order considering they had no problem being specific and direct in their fairly public spiritual abuse of Karen, IMO.

  2. If they had a do-over, they would still insist that she get the okay from them before proceeding. Why? Because they are men and she is a woman.

    I am sure they “cannot affirm” that Karen is a Christian. As if she needs such affirmation. Karen is unable to affirm them either, at this point. I would argue that hers is the much stronger case.

    1. Possibly. I truly hope not. But I must say the last specific statement they made on the matter does make that more likely than not, sadly. And I agree with your statement that Karen has a stronger case about them not acting like true followers of Christ in this mess.

  3. If the elders of the village church want to do the right thing here, they will demand he turn over to the authorities the evidence of his involvement in watching child pornagrphy. He cannot be truly repentant, if he is purposely hiding behind the church and avoiding the normal consequences for his sin,which is jail time. Yes he can be forgiven, but there is a price to be paid for what he did and he needs to own it! I am sickened that they are saying he has repented and is getting therapy, but not addressing that he only provided a computer that had no child pornagrphy on it. He has a plan to avoid the penalty for his sins and he is pulling it off. The church is participating in protecting him.

  4. I think churches in general become more concerned about keeping the family unit in tact by focusing more on the faithful spouse instead of calling out the adulterous spouse which is so wrong because the unfaithful spouse is the one intent on destroying the family unit.They fail to realise that the need to come down heavy on adultery by calling out the adulterous spouse’s choice to do evil.

    1. Even if the adultery or other sexual sin is addressed the multitude of sins that one has to succumb to and continue in are not addressed. Very few people would say, ” yes I’m a liar, yes I’m a thief, yes I’m covetous, yes I worship my flesh, yes I’ve broken the covenant between me, my spouse and God, yes I’ve dishonored our families. ..” nobody wants to deal with that.

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